This conference was attended by ministers of the UECB churches from various cities including Samara, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Kirov, Krasnoyarsk, and others. At the conference the main emphasis was that fathers and mothers can train their children at home and how workers of Sunday school are effective in caring out their ministry in a rapidly changing world.
Speakers talked about example of Jesus Christ. Of course this was the main issue talked about at the conference. Once when Jesus preached to the people, his disciples notice children to try to get to Jesus in the crowd. Let’s imagine this picture in our modern society. The preacher is behind the pulpit and is explaining something enthusiastically by many attentive listeners. In the middle of that moment, someone’s little child suddenly finds himself wandering up to you’re your reaction? Of course we immediately make an unpleasant remark about the child. This was the same response of Jesus’ disciples, as they prohibited children to approach their dear teacher.
In Mark 10:14, Jesus surprisingly stopped his message in order to bless his children. You can ask “why did you do it Jesus? They are small and they probably won’t remember anything you told them.” But Jesus knew what he was doing. He understood that little lives are shaped now, and their souls are being molded. He showed how important children are to him. If the Lord himself pays so much attention to children, then I should ask, “Do I love my children like the Lord loves them?“
The basis of any mentoring is love. If you really love your children you will stand in the gap for their happiness. If you really love your children you always have time for them. Some think that taking their children to Sunday school once a week will be enough for their spiritual development. But let me ask you one question, “is it really ok to only feed your children once a week? “Of course not. You would say they need to eat every day at least three times, a nutritional balanced diet. And you are absolutely right. Then why are we so careless about their spiritual health? This is irresponsible.
Sometimes it seems the children are too small to invest something so serious, but in fact it is this age in which they seem like sponges and absorb everything. If you do not teach them, then the world will. Undoubtedly the best preaching for them will be your holy life. Through the image of their earthly father children will see their heavenly father. Therefore it is very important that the father be a decent reflection of God toward his family, and a priest and king to his flock.
Modern churches are mainly oriented to the adults. Almost all ministry is directed to give spiritual food to them. Many will say but we have special Sunday schools for them or they can learn interesting stories about Jesus. Yes this is good but how often are they shipped out of the way to Sunday school so they don’t interfere with our worship service? How can we show children that they are just as important members of the church like everyone else?
In some churches, there is such a thing as a Children’s message. During the general service for 10 or 15 minutes there’s a specially worded message for children in their language, so that they may understand. The preacher uses visual aids and other interesting things, and it is interesting to watch the children’s joyous faces as they understand hundreds of adults are now noticing them. Children are fascinating. They, like no one else need your instruction and your personal example. Show them Christ as having first place in your heart and life. Teach them to love the word of God and to love him as you do. Give them the faithful grounding and it will help them resist sin in this cruel and corrupt world.
Thank God that the special UECB churches hold such special conferences that help to find the right solution to many issues in the field of education and mentoring our children in the light of Scripture.